I have commented over the years that I grew up in a town that was very similar to Mattawan. Middleville even starts with an “M”. Just a couple of traffic lights, no McDonald’s, huge school district, quality education, farming community that was growing into a bedroom community for a larger city a few miles away.
I went through a stage in my mid-twenties when I would roll my eyes at the thought of staying local in a small town. Linda and I raised support and moved to England to launch out into a life of ministry to the world! London, Paris, Rome, Manchester, Malaga . . . We were going to be big time in my mind.
Fast forward several years and our pride had been checked into the boards by this thing called reality, which was all superintended by the God who knows what is best. It was his kindness (that felt like loss at the time) that drew Linda and I into this amazing life of ministry in a small town church. I wasn’t ready in my 20’s to see what God was going to do in my 30’s that would establish a calling worked out in my 40’s.
I am so thankful for the way that God has convicted, repositioned, and used Linda and I in ministry together over these past 27 years. But if you would’ve told me I was going to be a pastor in a small town in West Michigan, I could’ve never imagined the pathway that would get me to this place.
There are no small callings. There is nothing provincial or tiny in the service of the Almighty! He is deploying his workers as He sees fit. And I am glad to share a little of the way He has worked to bring me to a very local ministry in Mattawan, Michigan.